A Terrifying-slash-Mortifying Moment at the Mall

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I never knew malls could give me such an adrenaline rush.

Earlier today I went to SM Clark just to purchase two pieces of quite costly yellow-orange curtains (and erm.. a maximizer bra! hihi). For two freaking pieces of those curtains, I had to stand and wait in line for an hour at the cashier... An hour!

Yep. Today was a 3-day sale for SM, and so they had those usual “if you have a SMAC, you get 10% discount on all items.” kind of thing. And so for my dear mum, I rushed to Our Home to avail of said discount (which you only get, by the way, from 10am-12pm on the first day) for her gorgeous curtains. (20% + 10%? 30% off is a good deal already if it costs, say, a couple of thousands)

So by the time I paid, I was already pretty tired and my temper had reached its maximum level. I decided to eat to cool off my head, and after that went to National Bookstore to browse through books that might be on sale, too.

I was halfway through the Fiction section when, all of a sudden, I heard people screaming and shouting; I glanced up and everyone-all the shoppers- were running towards the exit! What the hell! By instinct, I dashed out of the bookstore at once. Shops were rolling down their doors, and everyone was like, running for the lives. Was there a fire? How come I didn’t hear any alarm?! I don't see any smoke. (and why would stores be closing their doors if there was a fire?) Terrified, I started to hightail it too, but in a heartbeat I passed by the baggage counter and realized with dismay that the curtains were there (with my bra!), I suddenly halted, and ran back to get them. A woman, probably a supervisor, was telling everyone to calm down and come inside the store. Wide-eyed, I entered again and politely asked the guy from the counter (who looked so dead bored as if the events didn’t interest him a bit) for my items. I noticed that only the salesladies and a couple of shoppers were there. I forced a straight face (although I was clearly trembling) and asked what was going on and all they said was, “May gulo”. I felt it was safer inside, so I stayed there and texted my mom not to come and stay in Dau for a while. I saw an unconscious body being carried away by one of the security guards, however, no one was running anymore. Has somebody been killed then? Was there a terrorist out there who was planning to kill all of us? Or a holdaper perhaps? Or just some gangsta shit that some kids have gotten into? I shrank back into the store as other more horrifying thoughts entered my mind.

After a while though (and to my slight disappointment), everything died down and people from the management went around to announce that everything was alright, and to scold the staff for panicking. No one could still answer the ‘why’ question, so I went back to looking at books and bought a manga and a novel that were both on sale, as if nothing happened. Mom called, and said that we go to Marquee Mall instead.

On the way out, I asked a guard from BDO about what went on. He said,

“May pumutok lang ho na dispenser sa KFC, tapos may nagpanic at tumakbo, ayun, nagsitakbuhan na ho yung mga tao.”

What the ****. I was one of those who ran with them, albeit for less than a minute. I laughed aloud at how ridiculous the events turned out to be. I consoled myself that at least I only sprinted less than a meter and didn’t really reach the exit. Ha ha. Embarassing.

So typically pinoy. Overreaction is fast becoming a common trait among us (OA talaga, may hinimatay pa.). Worse than that though, is our attitude to “go with the flow”. When somebody runs, we run too without knowing what we’re running away from. When somebody points at the sky and everyone stares at it, we look up and stare at it too. I guess this goes for everyone, not just Filipinos. But maybe this is precisely why we vote for the wrong persons, why we follow fads that don’t really suit us, why we follow rules when we don’t even know what they’re there for. People hardly have their own opinions anymore; when someone says “This is what’s right!” we immediately believe them. We are too lazy to look back and check at things that matter, following blindly is easier. Individuality is as rare as Britney’s panties.

I challenge anyone who reads this to start thinking for themselves and not be blind followers. You might say “I am not!” but surely, there are points in your life when you were too tired or too lazy to stand by your own conviction and beliefs (If you do have your own).

Anyway, I thank God for this day. It turned out to be an interesting one. Sure beats staying at home or the office all day, typing and clicking away on my pc (and yet that’s what I still ended up doing tonight). :)

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